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Friday Field Notes: Featuring engaging stories from practitioners about how partnerships with Cooperative Extension help build Community Capacity to support military service men and women and their families.

To continue our exploration of how cooperative extension can support Total Force Fitness, in today’s Friday Field Notes, we will examine the resources cooperative extension provides for medical and dental fitness.

Service Member Deployment Cycle

What is Medical and Dental Fitness?

Military medical fitness involves being free of contagious disease and free from medical conditions or physical defects that would require excessive lost duty time for treatments and/or would likely result in separation from service for medical unfitness. In order to maintain medical and dental fitness, it is key that service members and their families have access to appropriate care, including, health assessments, vision and hearing assessments, dental care, and behavioral health assessments.

Cooperative Extension and Medical and Dental Fitness

Cooperative extension provides a variety of resources and programs with the goal of educating individuals and families on the importance of preventing diseases and understanding chronic illnesses. Contact your local county extension office to learn more about the programs in your area.

Chronic Disease. Many cooperative extension programs provide education on chronic diseases. Virginia and Pennsylvania both provide a variety of educational programs on the prevention and treatment of chronic illnesses, including Alzheimer’s and diabetes. Check your state’s cooperative extension website to learn about their programming on chronic disease.

Cold and Flu Prevention. During cold and flu season, cooperative extension provides programming and resources for the prevention of colds and the flu. The Avoid the Flu at School and Work post from Texas A&M AgriLife Extension provides great tips on staying healthy.

A healthy diet and physical activity are also key to mainlining one’s physical health. Check out previous blog posts on physical and nutritional fitness to learn more about how Cooperative Extension can support these Total Force Fitness domains.